As I’ve mentioned in this space before, my running buddy and I are doing a marathon training program. The long runs are fun and oddly meditative, but I’m finding that just stretching isn’t enough to help my body recover. Here are a few things that have worked for me and my buddy as we up the distance.
- Compression. Sometimes after our runs, my knee will bother me a bit. What I’ve found helps the most with the knee pain is to wrap it with an ACE bandage. The compression helps keep the swelling down, and the pain is usually gone by the next day.
- Ice. If I’m super sore, an ice back really helps. Bill, my running buddy, actually takes an ice bath after our runs. He puts a bunch of ice in the tub, fills it up with cool water, and soaks for a few minutes.
- Elevation – If a joint is really bothering me a lot, it helps to chill on the couch with an ACE bandage on and elevate it above heart level. This is another trick to reduce swelling, and it works like a charm!
- Gentle Exercise. I’m talking super gentle. Maybe you take a nice stroll around the block or even roll your ankles or flex and straighten your legs while you’re relaxing on the couch. This has done wonders for preventing stiffness, especially after runs that are 10 miles or more.
- Rest. Don’t run every single day. Your muscles and joints need time to heal in between that hard work. It’s better to rest, especially if you’re experiencing pain, than to push it and risk an injury that will keep you off of your feet far longer.
I’d love to hear from other runners out there! How do you recover after a grueling run?
Image Credit: Creative Commons photo by lululemon athletica